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What Social Issues Have Become Increasingly Important in the UK Recently?

Nobody has been left untouched by the coronavirus pandemic. We’ve seen near-constant news coverage on the economic impacts the outbreak has caused; from corporations going into administration and job losses to falling stock prices and the high street closures. But there hasn’t been as much focus on the social impacts of coronavirus in the UK, despite these being equally prevalent.

We have written this article not to worsen the doom and gloom that we are all facing, but to spread awareness on these social issues, so that more people can take up arms against them. Here are some of the main ways that the people of the UK have been affected recently:

1.) Holiday Hunger

Holiday hunger is the term given to describe when poor children go hungry during the summer holidays because they no longer have access to free school meals.

As coronavirus forced UK schools to close way back in March, and some haven’t opened since, this means that children have been starving for months. Fortunately, the government has started to implement new strategies to tackle this. Companies like the Tej Kohli Foundation in the UK have also been funding local community projects which deliver food and educational resources to children.

2.) Domestic Abuse

Domestic abuse is any behaviour which is designed to gain control over a spouse, partner or family member. This includes things like physical, emotional or verbal abuse, gaslighting and blame-shifting, coercion and threatening behaviour, isolating the person or leveraging economic power over them.

As a result of coronavirus, domestic violence has significantly worsened in the UK. Lockdown has trapped people in the same house as their abuser and the economic crash has also meant they are far more financially dependent on them. Social distancing has made it harder for people to recognise or intervene when their loved one is being abused, too.

3.) Mental Health

We need to manage our mental health as much as we do our physical wellbeing. Unfortunately, coronavirus and lockdown have exacerbated a lot of people’s struggles with their mental health, especially those who suffer from a mental illness. There’s a lot more to be anxious about and so people are relapsing or using unhealthy coping mechanisms.

For example, eating disorders have become more prevalent as people are binge-eating to soothe their negative emotions, or restricting their food intake to establish a semblance of control in these uncertain times.

4.) Elderly Wellbeing

Elderly people have been self-isolating for many months now, exacerbating their pre-existing feelings of loneliness and being forgotten about. There has also been a general disregard for them from the public and government – with the latter neglecting to provide effective protection from the virus in care homes.

Worse still, many old people have been kept separate from their loved ones in the last weeks of their life. This has been heart-breaking for thousands of families across the UK.
These are the main social issues that have become more prevalent recently. We must all do our part to tackle them and protect the people of the UK.

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